Friday, August 12, 2011

Kerry Head Loop

So, back to the Ireland bike rides.  The last few days there, we stayed at Ballybunion, because, apparently, that's one of the courses golfers dream about playing.  I understand the courses were VERY challenging - links courses with really rough, steep, rough.  (If you are a golfer, you know what that means).

Almost to the west end of the head

What to do?  This area of Ireland is bypassed by both my cycling Ireland books.  One book suggested just riding straight through on the National road from whatever town is to the south (off my map) to Kilrush, and not detouring by the quieter coast road.  Why, I don't know.

The route

For my first ride, I thought I'd ride out to and around Kerry Head, and then back up the coast.  I followed the R551 all the way to Ballyheige, took the road around Kerry Head, then back up the coast on the "Coast Route" road, back to R551, and then back to Ballybunion.  All in all, about 40 miles.

River Cashen

It was really pretty!  There were some hilly, windy bits before Ballyheige, where I stopped to get some provisions at a convenience store.  I love the Irish convenience stores.  They've got Cadbury chocolate bars and rice pudding and...


Signpost in Ballyheige
Looking out to the Dingle Peninsula

I could see the Dingle peninsula to the south over the water.  Lots of dairy cows in fields.

Heading west out to Kerry Head

Evidence of participation

Where that Kerrygold butter and cheese comes from

Got out to the point, turned north and then west, and picked up a tailwind and a delightful descent.  Eventually I ran out of Coast Road and was back on R551, then retracing to the start.

Just before turning west

Red roof against an impossibly perfect sea and sky

Looking north

I beat the golfers back this day.

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